There is a wide array of approaches to structure transdisciplinary research, most of which differentiate three phases of the overall research process. Following a publication from Lang et al. 2012 we present an approach to structure these different phases along several design principles,
Following the phases of joined problem framing, co-creation of knowledge and re-integration we also discuss the role of scientists within transdisciplinary projects.


This session will present a general framework of transdisciplinary research, and will introduce design principles that are help to structure research projects. Participants will reflect their own research project in relation to the principles, and will exchange on how feasible each principle can be realized within the given project. This will allow to establish at a shared level of experience when it comes to structuring and applying transdisciplinary research projects.

Outline of the session

– 1) Introductory input (30 minutes).
– 2) Breaking down case studies into research phases (50 minutes).
– 3) Discussion on research phases (40 minutes).

Group Exercise

1) Each participant is a member of a working group of 4 persons.
2) Participants will together reflect on the phases that are necessary for the given project.
3) The group will formulate a problem-framing for a given project.
4) The group will discuss necessary knowledge domains for the given project, including
methods and stakeholders.
5) Participants will discuss the role of normativity within the research project.
6) The group will design which project organization and maintenance would be necessary
during the project.
7) Each participant will identify the most critical phases within the given research project.
8) The selected case of each group is presented following the different research structures
using a 2-minute pitch.
9) A final discussion will structure research phases

Lessons learned

The participants will learn to structure transdisciplinary research into different
phases along certain design principles.

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